In a 23-10 loss to the Houston Texans, the San Francisco got to see nothing special from Colin Kaepernick which is a worrying sign, but converted Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne made a very big impression with his ability to hit open space and torch the field.
The 27-year old who did more than just switch rugby codes, but actually make a transition into the NFL and hopefully a successful one as a running back and a return specialist finished with 63 rushing yards on five carries, including one run for 53 yards, and picked up 57 more yards on one kick return and two off of punts.
Right now, he doesn’t look like someone who can come busting through tackles, but his ability to accelerate in the open field gives a very interesting option for the 49ers, if they can use him in the right way.
Someone who can do a lot of damage in the open field as well is Kaepernick, but he didn’t take off for any runs in the loss. He played just one drive, in which he struggled to move the team forward, settling for 14 yards on 1-of-3 before a punt.
So the praise they heaped on Blaine Gabbert? It’s not going to move him into the starting quarterback spot, but he did well against backups, completing 8-of-11 passes for 86 yards, finding Garrett Celek for a touchdown, the only one for the 49ers with just 8 first downs compared to 22 from Houston, in an overall disappointing season debut for a team that’s expected to struggle on all fronts this season.